The trusty month of May

February 26, 2009

It’s “Manga Month” again in Diamond’s Previews catalog. When this crops up each year, there’s always a small part of me that sneers and says, “Oh, like the direct market really cares.” Still, there are lots of wonderful-looking upcoming arrivals among the listings.

I find it very difficult to resist bittersweet comics about helping the recently or not-so-recently deceased deal with the fact that they’re… well… dead. CMX offers another variation on this theme, Ballad of a Shinigami, illustrated by Asuka Izumi, original story by K-Ske Hasegawa. (Page 121.)

Manga Month might just be coincidental with their regular release schedule, but Del Rey brings it. New volumes of Mushishi, Pumpkin Scissors, and Toto! The Wonderful Adventure are among the offerings. (Pages 240-241.)

And holy crap, Digital Manga is listing the fourth volume of Fumi Yoshinaga’s Flower of Life! With a great big two-page spread, which it totally deserves! And the first three volumes are offered again, so you can order all four! Oh, May, you can’t come soon enough. (Pages 248-249.)

But wait, there’s more! Jiro Taniguchi is one of those creators where I feel I can safely recommend his work even if I’ve never seen the title in question. Fanfare will be shipping the first volume of Taniguchi’s A Distant Neighborhood this month, which sounds like a lovely blend of mystery and nostalgia. (Page 252.)

Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim sound like peanut butter and chocolate to me, so I’m very much looking forward to their joint effort, The Eternal Smile, from First Second. Yang handles the writing, and Kim draws the pictures. It’s a collection of three stories. (Page 256.)

I’ve been dying for someone to license work by Daisuke Igarashi and staring enviously at France when I see his works recognized at festivals like Angoulême. Viz makes me happy by announcing the first volume of Igarashi’s Children of the Sea. Now do Witches. (Page 295.)

I’m not familiar with it at all, but Yen Press does a good job piquing my interest with the solicitation for The History of West Wing, written by Jiayu Sun and illustrated by Guo Guo. It’s a “full-color historical romance based on a classic Chinese romance saga.” (Page 303.)